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Thursday, August 2, 2012
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It's all about the names, tonight. Especially those who only have one. Rocky, Bullwinkle, Beiber, Gaga... you know who I'm talking about. See who else I'm talking about for the Olympics. Read on!



* Bob tells us that tonight's race of Lochte versus Phelps is a "domestic dispute." Are we going to have to call the cops?


* Hey! We're starting with something other than swimming, gymnastics, or diving! It's the womens' eight rowing competition. One of the coolest things about the rowing events in these Olympics is the setting. Right beside the water is a bike trail where dozens of rowing fans are cycling along with the boats, matching their speed, as they speed toward the finish. What's really amazing is that none of the cyclists have crashed. The US women, who won gold in 2008, win again, leading from start to finish.


* Anthony Ervin, an American swimmer in the 50m free, won a gold medal in 2000, then quit the sport for eight years. Why? I dunno. This fluff piece never mentioned why. You know, I didn't like Jimmy Roberts, but at least he was informative. He just told you more than you ever wanted to know.


* Speaking of the 50m, the race is so short (only 21 seconds), that some of the swimmers don't even bother to breathe during the event. Crazy!


* A minute of fluff so NBC can tell us that track and field events are coming up tomorrow. Thanks!


* Back to the US women's eight gold medal ceremony. All of them sing. Is it any wonder why I love this team?


* To men's volleyball, where USA will face BRA. The Beavis in me giggles. So this men's volleyball... nobody's wearing bikinis, there isn't any sand, we don't see any closeup camera shots of buttocks... how did this make it onto the broadcast?


* One of the Brazilian players is named "Dante." No last name, commentator Paul Sunderland tells us, as most Brazilian volleyball players are known by only one name. They also have "Ricardo." Is this something they learned from soccer players? Pele, Ronaldo, and Dante... at one name each, eventually the Brazilians are going to run out of names.


Maybe the Americans should do this. US volleyball Reed Priddy could just be Priddy. No one else is going to have that name. The US also has a Suxho. You're not going to see that anywhere else, either.


* A diving save for a point, then a block at the net for a point. Priddy, oh so Priddy.


* The US beats BRA! Hey Brazil, it Suxho's to be you!


* Al "Bruce Wayne" Trautwig introduces us to the night everyone is waiting for. Well, actually, he introduces Nastia Liukin, who gets to voiceover all of the slow-motion gymnasts. This is your chance, she says. You know, last night NBC couldn't show all of Danell Leyva's rotations due to time constraints. He ended up winning bronze. You would think they could cut out the fluff so they could show more of the event that "everyone is waiting for."


* Bruce Wayne tells us that President Obama reached out to the gymnasts after their gold medal. Taylor Swift also reached out. And Lady Gaga reached out. Could we please retire this phrase? Nobody did any reaching. Each of these people "wrote" or maybe "called." What's wrong with saying, "President Obama phoned the team to congratulate them"? That's actually correct. The president's arm is at most a few feet long. The only thing he reached out for was the phone.


* Mary Lou Retton and Carly Patterson are in the house. Al calls them "gymnastics royalty." They are in a country with a monarchy, does that give them any privileges? Maybe they get to behead a gymnastics judge.


* Rebecca Soni races with her own unique style. Would that be a winning style? Her coach said they tried to change it but decided not to. Would that be because she was winning? Why would you change something that's successful? Why am I asking so many questions? Is it because fluff annoys me?


* Did Soni win? Yes, and in world record time! Back-to-back golds for her in this event. Not too shabby for someone with weird technique. Hmm... if she's won back-to-back golds, maybe it's everybody else who is weird.


* Gabby Douglas is "the flying squirrel"? Watch her pull a gold medal out of her hat! This time for sure!


* NBC seems to be loading up on the ads right now. Hopefully that means they'll be having a long uninterrupted segment later.


* Mini-fluff! Several gymnasts, ending with Nadia, tell us what tonight's competitors are going through. We've wasted two minutes (so far) tonight on gymnast fluff. Wouldn't you rather have seen two more minutes of actual gymnastics?


* While Russian Aliya Mustafina performs on the balance beam, whoever's on the floor exercise is dancing to Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." That might be someone you want to test for doping.

Mustafina herself must have been distracted, because she fell off the beam during the song. That's going to cost her. Then as she walks back to the bench she angrily slaps away the consoling touch of her coach. Oh, Mustafina. Remember when you were young? Your eyes shown like the sun. Shine on you crazy gymnast!


* To the pool, for the Ryan Lochte redemption tour in the 200m backstroke. He won this event in 2008 and is trying for a repeat.


No! It's the other American, Tyler Clary, who outswims Lochte on the last length to take the gold. Ryan gets bronze. Now he'll have to get as much rest as he can before he races again in the 200m individual medley 30 minutes from now.


* Missy Franklin recap fluff! She's racing tonight in the second heat of the 200m backstroke, but before she does, let's remember all the way back to a couple of days ago when she won a gold medal. Wasn't that something, way back in July of two-aught-twelve?


* Justin Beiber reached out to Missy. AAAAA! He did no such thing! He tweeted about her. For all we know, he could have been sitting on the toilet while he did that. Do you really want someone reaching out to you from their toilet?


* The main event! Let's get ready to rum-bllllllllllllllle! Lochte versus Phelps in the 200m individual medley. Phelps has won this event in 2004 and 2008, but Lochte holds the world record time. Who will win? Technically it's probably a toss up, but would you seriously bet against Michael Phelps?


As they start, can I just say that I love the camera shot from underwater after the divers have entered the water but before they break the smooth, glassy surface? So Priddy.


Phelps wins gold! His 20th Olympic medal. Wow. Lochte was a close second, which is really impressive given that he just swam in a medal race half an hour ago. I think it's time to cut Lochte some slack. He certainly can't be accused of not giving a great effort. He's just not as good as Phelps. But hey... 20 medals... NO ONE is as good as Phelps.


* To the women's all-around with the Flying Squirrel and the Angry Russian. Can we just start calling these two Rocky and Natasha?


Natasha goes first and does well, but Rocky is better. I just don't think Natasha wants it Badenov. Hehe.


* What passes for drama in the gymnastics arena? All of gymnasts standing on the floor and looking up at the scoreboard waiting for the judges to post their results.


And the results are in. Gabby Douglas wins the gold! Aly Raisman wins the bronze. But wait! She doesn't. Raisman is actually tied with Mustafina, so they drop each gymnasts low score and recalculate as a tiebreaker. Why do you need a tiebreaker? The event is the "all-around." If you take out a score, it's no longer an "all." If they tie, they tie. Give them both a bronze. Raisman just got screwed.


* Hey, how about some more of America's sweetheart? Hmm... she finished fifth in the 100m freestyle. That's disappointing. How about some more of Michael Phelps? He wins, but it's only a semifinal for the 100m butterfly, so no medal is involved. We're sort of ending on a down note here, NBC.


* Gabby Douglas gets another chance to sing the Star Spangled Banner. C'mon Gabby! Sing! Rocky would do it! Hmm... no singing. She's looking around like she's trying to find an exit.


* Michael Phelps gets another chance to sing the Star Spangled Banner. C'mon Michael! Sing! Ryan Lochte would do it! Hmm... no singing. He's looking around like he doesn't know the words. Well, winning gold medals is pretty unusual. Why would he ever think he'd be in a position where he needed to know the words?



Light fluff today. Only seven minutes! That makes for good 'Lympic viewin'! Hopefully this kind of pattern keeps up through the rest of the Games. See you tomorrow!